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MTN brings LTE to Zambia

MTN Uganda has withdrawn its threat to block connections to rival Uganda Telecom over unpaid interconnect fees

MTN Zambia became the first carrier in the country to launch LTE on Friday, as the company introduced the service in Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone. Phase two of the rollout, which is already underway, will expand LTE coverage within these same towns and cover new territories as well.

LTE routers and SIM cards are available from service centres in the stated coverage areas and modems and handsets will be available soon, the company said.

MTN Zambia CEO Abdul Ismail said the commercial launch of LTE is part of a bigger network transformation plan that MTN has been undertaking over the past few years and has been done ahead of various other advanced economies in Africa.

The company’s chief marketing officer, Clement Asante, said: “The days of waiting for hours on end for music, pictures or videos to load online are long gone with MTN’s LTE service.”

Last month MTN Group agreed to sell its tower portfolios in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS Holding. The company offloaded a total of 1,228 mobile network towers to IHS’s subsidiaries in Rwanda and Zambia, comprised of 524 and 704 towers respectively, for undisclosed amounts.

The sale of the towers is in line with MTN’s asset optimisation strategy building on two previous deals with IHS in Cameroon and Côté d’Ivoire, for a total of 1,758 towers.

“We are confident these transactions are a positive step towards freeing up management time to focus on products and services,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, president and CEO of MTN Group.

The transactions bring the total number of towers in IHS’s portfolio to 10,500m the company said.

The 2nd annual LTE Africa conference is taking place on the 11th-13th November 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Click here to download the brochure for the event.

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